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Northern California District
Release Date: 09/30/10
Contacts: Jeff Fontana , (530) 252-5332  
News Release No. NC-10-105

Groups Receive Partners in Conservation Award from Interior Department

A group of northeast California organizations has received the 2010 “Partners in Conservation” award from the U. S. Department of the Interior for development of the Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy.

The strategy is designed to improve ecological health by reducing juniper that has encroached into the sagebrush-grassland ecosystem of northeast California and northwest Nevada.

Modoc County Resource Analyst Sean Curtis led a group that traveled Washington, D. C. to receive the award on behalf of the local partners including the Modoc County Land Use Committee, Modoc County Resource Advisory Committee, Modoc National Forest, North Cal-Neva Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Bureau of Land Management’s Alturas, Eagle Lake and Surprise Field Offices, and the BLM’s Northeast California Resource Advisory Council.

“Modoc County, California is hereby recognized for its outstanding contributions to public land management,” the award citation stated.  “The county has taken a leadership role in working to restore the health of the public land in a 6.5 million-acre planning area for the benefit of the residents of Modoc County and the people of the United States.”
Curtis said he was pleased to receive the award, but noted the bulk of the ecosystem restoration work lies ahead.

“The work has just begun.  The strategy will be implemented over the next 40 to 50 years,” he said.  “This strategy has three inter-related objectives:  rangeland improvement, rural economic development and domestic energy production.”

Some of the excess western juniper removed during restoration projects will be available for economic uses including biomass energy or wood pellets.  Curtis said Modoc County is well positioned to help determine the best uses of harvested juniper.


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Drive Redding, CA 96002  

Last updated: 10-01-2010